In June 2011, we brought you the story of Reema Bajaj, a lovely young lawyer in Illinois who was accused of prostitution. I expressed a belief in her innocence, although my faith was somewhat shaken by the nude photos of her that circulated on the web. And then, in June 2012, Bajaj pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of prostitution.
After covering her guilty plea, we thought we had seen the last of her. As I wrote, “The post you’re now reading could very well represent the final story we write about Reema Bajaj…. We will miss writing about this colorful young woman, but we wish her the best in getting on with her life and her law practice.”
I spoke too soon. Now Bajaj is back — with a vengeance….
Note the UPDATE at the end of this post, based on comments from Bajaj’s counsel.
It appears that Bajaj had difficulty getting on with her life and her law practice in the wake of her prostitution plea. Although she kept her Illinois law license, as a legal ethics expert we interviewed predicted she would, Bajaj had trouble attracting clients.
Earlier this month, she dissolved her law practice. And yesterday she sued three local lawyers: a former prosecutor who worked on her case, Calvin Campbell; one of her own former defense attorneys, Timothy Johnson, who is now law partners with Campbell; and a “John Doe” defendant. Bajaj alleges that the three lawyers circulated nude photos of her, causing her emotional distress and hurting her ability to generate business (for her law practice). From the DeKalb Daily Chronicle:
The lawsuit, filed Monday in DeKalb County court by Reema “Nicki” Bajaj, 27, alleges that Campbell and local lawyer Timothy W. Johnson, who was acting as her defense attorney, showed nude photographs of her to other lawyers at the DeKalb County Courthouse in June 2011. The complaint also identified an unnamed “John Doe” lawyer working for the state’s attorney’s office.
Bajaj is seeking more than $50,000 from Campbell, Johnson, and [John Doe] in the suit for emotional distress and economic damage.
Bajaj is represented by Kevin D. McHugh and Amanda T. Adams, two 2007 graduates of Bajaj’s alma mater, Northern Illinois University College of Law, who now have their own law firms. McHugh, who appears to be taking the lead on the case, is a litigator, while Adams focuses on family law.
We heard about Bajaj’s complaint from multiple readers. This tipster plays for Team Reema:
Hi Guy! I’m a big fan of the BEAUTIFUL Nicki or Reema Bajaj. That’s how I found your site! I even requested you forward some of her pictures to me. Sadly, you didn’t.
(Though you mentioned me in one of your articles. Hee-hee, yes I’m a dirty old man.)
ANYWAY! I just heard on WBBM NewsRadio 78 that Miss Bajaj is in the news again! Since you like her too you might want to look into it. I guess she dissolved her law firm…. And she’s suing people….
A second source expressed skepticism towards her lawsuit:
Reema is back for revenge! She is suing the former State’s Attorney and her defense attorney for distributing nude photos of her. She claims intentional infliction of emotional distress and interference with her business. Of course, her conviction for prostitution might limit her damages….
Reema Bajaj’s civil case is captioned — wait for it — Bajaj v. Johnson. I wouldn’t bet against her in this litigation. She has plenty of experience eating Johnsons for breakfast.
UPDATE (5:30 p.m.): An earlier version of this story bore a headline stating that Bajaj had been “convicted” of prostitution. We’ve spoken with her lawyers, who declined to comment on her new lawsuit but stated that although Bajaj pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of prostitution, she was not “convicted” of prostitution as a matter of Illinois law. We have amended the headline accordingly.
(You can check out the full complaint in Bajaj v. Johnson on the next page.)